Saints submit plans for £5.5m redevelopment of North Stand at Franklin’s Gardens

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Northampton Saints have today submitted plans to Northampton Borough Council for their new £5.5m North Stand at Franklin’s Gardens.

The new stand will increase the capacity of the ground to more than 15,500 and complete the 12-year redevelopment of the stadium.

Northampton Saints North Stand redevelopment plans. Franklin's Gardens.

Northampton Saints North Stand redevelopment plans. Franklin's Gardens.

The full planning application includes the replacement of the current Sturtridge Pavilion, which has stood for nearly 50 years.

Also being replaced are the current control room, TV studio and first aid room.

In their place will be an all-seated North Stand that will accommodate an additional 1,926 supporters and include a ground floor public bar and two floors of hospitality suites and boxes.

Following discussions with stakeholders and a public consultation, a number of alterations were made to the original designs, with additional big screens, toilets, disabled viewing spaces and car parking.

The design of the stand’s exterior has also been refined to match the remainder of the current stadium, to minimise the overhanging of adjoining properties and to avoid overlooking neighbouring houses.

Saints’ chairman, Tony Hewitt, said a great deal had been done to make the planning application as comprehensive as possible.

He said: “At the recent season ticket holders forum, we pledged to have a full planning application submitted by October 31 and we have achieved that deadline.

“After many years of hard work, plenty of frustration and positive consultation, we are ready to take a massive and exciting step along the road towards completing Franklin’s Gardens.

“The planning application takes into account every factor in what will be the most complicated project we have attempted. Access is restricted, we have had to purchase some land from Beacon Bingo.

“There is also the demolition of the Sturtridge Pavilion itself, again the first time we have had to remove a brick structure to build a new stand. And all of this has to be planned to take place during the three months of a closed season.

“While we can all appreciate there has been plenty of talk and little obvious action over the past four years, I can assure all our supporters that we have been putting as much in place as we can in order to submit the full planning application and arrange the £5.5 million financing needed for the development. We have all had to be patient and I’d like to thank our supporters for their understanding.

“We now need to obtain the planning consent and then during 2014 take the next steps in the project management process of value engineering, appointing contractors and putting defined plans in place ready for the stand itself to be built in the summer of 2015.”

The stand will also incorporate an improved control room and a new first aid room and have been designed with full disabled access.

In the Church’s Stand, a new TV camera gantry will be built, along with an extension of the club’s media facilities.